Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade chicken nuggets and apple cars

First things first, I forgot to take a picture of  The Colonel's lunch. I am sorry. It was very similar to the other lunches only toddler friendly.

Today for lunch we have apple cars with blueberry wheels. I used a dab of sunbutter to keep the wheels attached. I also have 2 pieces of chocolate and some cheese. In the top tier (bottom) I have celery with sunbutter and homemade chicken nuggets.

Big boy Tyke eating his chocolate first. Funny tidbit: All 3 boys have that orange shirt he is wearing. I dressed both Clark and Tyke in it today. Luckily they are at an age where they do not care. I think it is cute when they are all matching.

The Colonel is still in her pjs. I am kinda lazy. Her toes get cold on our wood floors, yet she refuses to keep her socks on. So I sometimes just put her into another set of pjs when she wakes up. Clean clothes daily, just pjs instead of day wear.

My Pork Chop is growing up!!!! Look at him and then go back to one of the much older posts. He is thinning out. He is not so much a pork anymore.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hard boiled eggs

I know you do not see them to often, but I made hard boiled eggs for everyone's lunches today! I have a Thomas, Percy, Fish, Hello Kitty, Bunny, and Car hard boiled eggs today. How did I make these? Egg molds.

Here is another sight you don't see every day! Today was a snow day. Clark was in the kitchen when I decided to make lunch, so I had him pick out what bento he wanted to eat out of, he wanted the police car. To keep the others from fighting to much, I picked out the other rescue vehicles for them to eat from. Poor Clark could not wait to sit down and have lunch today. Sadly he did not eat well. None the less, he was desperate to sit down and open op his police car. I may have to order another police car and fire truck at some point. I just hate spending $30 on a smallish lunchbox that I am afraid to lose. Yes, I know some moms have lunchboxes of that price for their kids to take to school every day and they never have an issue. I am just very cheap and well, I really like these. The minions do like to eat from bentos, but I also collect them (for their use).

Everyone had their own egg today. I sliced all eggs in half, made deviled eggs, and then put the 2 halves back together. This is Colonel Sanders lunch. The green outline is done with a food safe marker.  

Clark's lunch. He had the Thomas egg. I also have blood orange slices, ham, cheese, and some blueberries.... I'm not sure why his are not pictured. Oh yeah, HE ATE THEM!

Pork got the "flat" fire truck. As you can see, it still holds quite a bit of food. The eggs are super easy to make. Hard boil some eggs. While they are still warm you need to peel them. I always put the peeled eggs back in the hot water for a minute before I put them into the egg molds. Next put them in the egg mold and close it. If you want it done "fast", put the mold in a bowl of ice water (or very cold water) for 10-15 minutes. Open it up and there you go!

Tyke got the car egg mold. I do not think my egg was warm enough when I put it in (it was the last egg and I was getting bored). It did form pretty well, but the tires have been better other times I have used this mold. Tyke had turkey for his meat. Come to think of it, I think Clark was the only one who had ham.

I know this lunch lacks some sort of fiber, trust me, we had plenty of it for breakfast (homemade whole wheat chocolate waffles), snack (homemade granola), and for dinner we are having homemade mac and cheese using whole grain noodles. While they may not have any in this meal, they are easily meeting their daily amount between other meals and snacks.

I made Julie lunch too. She has cheese and a leftover slice of blood orange. I cooked down some fruit until it became thick (when cooled) and put some homemade granola on top. I added a few blueberries for color. The sandwich is on homemade bread and consists of egg salad and spinach. On top of it is half one of one of the molded eggs. She got a bunny.

The boys are checking out what Mama made them for lunch. Mmm.....

Aunt Julie and The Colonel. Notice the Colonel. I think she wants Julie's egg.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ramen Noodles for lunch

 Today we will start with Colonel Sanders lunch. She is now 14 months old and has a full set of teeth. Around the edges of the box I have slightly steamed carrot. I steamed it just enough for it to bend, but not enough for it to be completely soft. The colonel enjoys a little crunch. I also have diced kiwi, green melon, watermelon, a rolled up slice of nitrate free turkey, thin cut cheese, and some ramen noodles with veggies.

I have to admit that I had my doubts when I saw this bento box. I wondered if it would really hold enough for lunch. Given some of my other boxes (and previous posts with small boxes) I should have known better than to doubt. Fot some odd reason the minions enjoy ramen noodles cold. So they have ramen noodles with mixed veggies, watermelon, green melon and kiwi slices. under the lid was that very small white piece. It was perfect for something flat like a cookie or small like M&M's. For a treat I gave them some small M&M's. Under that we have sliced carrots, mozzarella and cheddar cheese and nitrate free turkey.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A use for leftover taco meat

On the left we have cheese bites, a Butterfinger, and steamed broccoli.

To the right we have cheese and spinach stuffed shells with tomato puree and left over taco meat. Yes, I said taco meat. We now have 3 people in our household with acid reflux. I know tomatoes are not the best for it, but the adults like them to much. The minion does not like tomato sauce. Our taco meat is not overly seasoned either so it is easy on the stomach. Because of the light seasoning, it works very well for other uses, like on top of stuffed shells to add some extra protein for my favorite meat eater, The Elder.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Crab and the Chicks.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Easy Lunchboxes? I know I do not use them a lot for the minions, but I use them 5-6 days a week for The Elder. Easy Lunchboxes came out with some new colors! Can you feel my excitement? I have 12 of the normal ones right now. So in theory I should be fine. "Just to be safe" I ordered 2 packages (8 boxes) of their "Brights". :-D :-D :-D I told myself that I would never use faces on here, but I am to excited not to.

Tyke informed me today that he did not want a "cut" sandwich. So I left his whole and made him a cheese crab on top of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The eyes are candy eyes. The crab shaped cutter I used was actually in the "dollar" section of Target. It was part of a play-dough tool set. I took out any piece that could be used for a sandwich cutter and gave the minions the rest for their clay. The minions also have cheese, blackberries, and strawberries for lunch.

Pork wanted me to make him cute sandwiches, so I used a cookie cutter to cut him out 3 chicks. I used cheese to give them beaks and candy eyes. Above them I used another play-dough cutter to make him a duck.

Colonel Sanders had her own cute lunch. Here she has 3 Hello Kitty sandwiches. I used a Hello Kitty cookie cutter that had one of the press on faces. This makes the bread nice and flat. I also used left over cheese scraps (from the crab and duck) for her cheese. I cut the strawberries into smaller pieces for her.

Oh look! Aunt Julie is overseeing lunch today! I have class today. So while the minions eat lunch, I make sure everything is in my school bag, take a shower, and then drive Tyke to school. From there I go right to school myself.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Train lunch

Tyke wanted me to use his craft (from 2 months ago!) for my background. I can never say no to a child that proud of his work.

Today we have a biscoff and jelly sandwich in the shape of a train. Above that I have nitrate free salami and provolone cheese roll.

The bottom consists of zucchini slices, apple slices, a few blackberries, and some kiwi.

Recently someone asked about toddler bentos. The Colonel normally does get a lunch in a bento. It is not always to pretty and sometimes it just consists of scraps. Yes, I said I feed her scraps. That nice tractor sandwich above leaves a decent size piece of sandwich left. I cannot cut out another train and I may not have a cookie cutter that goes with a train to add to the lunch. So I will take that piece and give it to Colonel Sanders. Same with cheese and meat pieces. At her age, it makes no difference to her.

The Colonel turns 14 months old today! Let me tell you, she has a full mouth of teeth. I do cut some things up, but others I leave whole. She does very well eating this way. I do watch her and make sure there is no issues. If there is, I am always right there to cut items up or help in any way she may need (but has not needed).  Today Colonel Sanders has blackberries, thinly sliced apple, thin slices zucchini, Sandwich pieces, string cheese broken up, and some nitrate free salami.

Pork and Tyke opening up their bento boxes. The boxes are the same, just different colors. So I switched the 2nd tier in the lunches to change up the color a bit.

Do you like the rocket cup? I found that at Target.

There is Colonel Sanders! Today she likes her meat.

I need to clear off her high chair or move it to the garage. Since it is not in use (She prefers to stand at the table) it has become the nesting ground for various items.

Time to take Tyke to school! I decided we would walk today. So I bundled up Colonel Sanders extra warm.

Normally in the cooler months I take the lazy way out and drive to school to drop off Tyke and then at the end of the day pick up both the older minions. In the summer I walk and put minions in the wagon. We live 1/16 of a mile from the school. So that is what... 5 houses? It is around the corner from us. Clark will only ride the bus this year because he is in a special needs program.

Can you tell from my yard that I have kids? That orange thing is another part to my wagon. Tyke decided he wanted to pull his sister to school. Pork was holding my hand at this point, so you cannot see him.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chicken, rice, and Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This is really much better looking in person.  For lunch I made brown rice with lime pepper chicken, sprinkled with yellow tomatoes, cilantro, and fine shredded carrots for a little color. To the left I have some left over black bean and corn salsa. This is meant to be mixed in with the chicken and rice after they have been warmed. For desert we have 2 cookies.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mac and Cheese with Hot Dog Face

Yes, I still toss frozen veggies in the lunch. I know The Elder is going to microwave it, so I decided there was no point in cooking his green beans before I put them in the lunch. Everything is refrigerated all night and then at work. Like the background? Lazy. Yes, I am very lazy. I just wanted to go to bed.

Our little friend is made up of homemade mac and cheese. It really is pretty easy to make. The eyes are made from two olives stuffed with 2 green beans. The eyebrows, nose, mouth (I think it looks like a cigar in this picture) and his "shirt top" are made from a leftover Hebrew National hot dog. Mmm.. leftovers! To the left of that we have two turtles and some frozen green beans.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cheese Waffles

Today we will start with Colonel Sanders lunch. She has a cheddar cheese waffle, strawberry half, blueberries, cheese, and salami.

 Look who is joining us for lunch today! Yes, it is lunch time, but to create a different routine than a school day, we stay in our pjs till after lunch unless we are going someplace.

My father in law punched a Babycakes waffle maker for me as a Christmas gift. (see bottom) The waffles are in a heart shape and there is a spot to add a stick to them. While that thought is interesting, I do not want the boys to have to much fun with lunch.

Our Easy Lunchbox is perfect for this lunch. For the boys I made the waffle into a sandwich. See waffle recipe below. I added a slice of cheese and a slice of salami. I put half a strawberry on top of it to add some color. To the left I have blueberries and a slice of ham on a sword pick. 

The flash was a little to much for Colonel Sanders. Although you can see by her smile that she is enjoying her salami.

I changed the waffle recipe a bit from the original recipe. I was looking for a recipe that was not to sweet. Sweet and cheese do not always go to well together. I took a look at the little recipe book that was included with my waffle maker. Inside was a recipe for buttermilk waffles that used no sugar. Perfect!!! Only I have no butter milk. I do have some kefir on hand though. (see jar on bottom picture) So I decided to see if I could substitute. Worst case, I have to make more mix.

I will post the recipe as I used it. The original is in the Babycakes book that comes in the Babycakes waffle maker.
 Cheese Waffles
1 3/4 C flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups kefir (ok, I was short, so I added some milk)
1/3 cup olive oil (it calls for canola)
2 eggs
1ish C cheddar cheese
Mix all dry ingredients. Then add wet and mix until combined. It will be slightly clumpy and not very thick. Do NOT over mix.

Add in your cheddar cheese. I shred my own cheddar. I think it has a better flavor. The stuff you buy in the store pre done is coated so that it will not stick together. Stir mixture till it is just combined well. DO NOT OVER MIX. The mixture will still be pretty liquid. I have to admit that it threw me off. I have never had a waffle batter this way. It did turn out well though! Pour some into your waffle maker and cook until desired color. It was 4 minutes for me.

Clark took his sandwich apart and Pork ate it as a sandwich.

See that jar in back? The one with the pink hair tie holding on a coffee filter? Yep, that is my kefir. And the machine in front of that is my waffle maker. I am a messy cook, so there is drippings and what not around it.

The 2 cups of kefir I indicated in the recipe, I actually used about 1 1/8 cup of kefir and the rest milk.

The waffles came out thinner than normal ones. This worked in my favor for sandwiches. I think the waffle maker was designed to make thin waffles.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Quick Attempt at Angry Birds

 I am not gifted in design... or patience. The boys have been obsessed with playing Angry Birds since I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I put a few Autism apps on it and Angry Birds. I now use Angry Birds as part of our bed time routine. Everyone gets 5 games which comes to about 3 minutes. I know it is funny, but it works as a transition between combing Clark and actually getting into bed.

Anyway, back to lunch. This is my lazy take on Angry Birds. I kinda want to cry. I had plans of doing better, but 3 fighting boys and a little ankle biter crying at my feet changed my mind. Oh well! They all knew who it was suppose to be.

I used salami and deli cheese to make the Birds and the Piggy. The Pig ended up yellow because I could not find my green food marker after 10 minutes of looking. Then Aunt Julie came downstairs after I colored the circle and handed the green one to me. *sighs*

I used one of Colonel Sander's sippy cups to cut out the circle. The smaller circles were cut out by hand or by using a straw. I am so awesome that I even forgot to give the pig a mouth (I just realized this as I was typing).

Just so you know, I remember nothing about the white bird other than it "poops out an egg" when you tap it. I am not even sure what it looks like other than it was white. I did take a look after the fact and well, I wish I wouldn't have. I am saddened even more by my lame birds. Oh well! Maybe I will go drink some more coffee. Coffee makes everything better!

The sandwiches are peanut butter and jelly. I also gave them strawberries (they prefer the tops on), sliced zucchini, a cheese stick, and 2 mini sausages.

I am so glad Tyke knew what I was trying to make for lunch. He was tickled pink! Tyke is my #1 lover of Angry Birds.

Want to see some really nice Angry Birds lunches?
Mamabelly's Angry Birds

Creative Food's Angry Birds lunch

Another awesome Angry Birds Lunch from Creative Food

Ever wonder what I do with the scraps? Well, look at Colonel Sanders plate. She did not mind it one bit. I did cut up her strawberries for her, but I left them pushed together.

BUT WAIT! There are even more wonderful Angry Birds lunches. I promise all of them are much better than mine!

Angry Birds from Obento Mama!

Karen of Our Lunch Bags always does an amazing job. Her son is very lucky!

Feeling A Little Lunchy used lettuce for her pigs. They look great! What a cool idea.

Becoming A Bentoholic's Angry Bird bento.

Robot Squirrel and the Monkeys Angry Birds Lunch

Lunch With Eyeness has a nice lunch.

Even better, Lunch With Eyeness has several here. I should have used my egg mold like she did!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simple Sandwich

Today's peanut butter and jelly sandwich was made using half a hot dog bun. I added in 2 skewers with ham and a piece of bread and butter pickle. The bottom tier has a piece of salami, cucumber slices, small pear pieces, and string cheese

This one is the same as above. I just used a different container. The eyes on the sandwich are candy eyes. I found them in the cake decorating aisle at the grocery store. I use peanut butter to make them stick. The mouth is a cheerio. 

The Colonel's lunch. She had the same thing as the boys, only most of it is cut up into smaller pieces. I do not bother cutting the sandwich because she has a full mouth of teeth and does rather well. 

I decided to let everyone stay in pjs if they wanted to since people are still a little ill here. Pork decided he wanted to stay in his dinosaur pjs.

He is so cute. I am not sure what he was thinking, but the expression on his face made me smile.

Clark and Tyke eating their lunches. These two boxes have matching bottoms, but the tops are different. One is Thomas and the other is Cars. I wish I could find a Dinosaur bento for Pork.

I gave all the boys haircuts. It took 2 days to get Clark's cut. Poor kids cannot handle the sensation of his hair being cut. We decided to take longer to do it rather than upset him all at once and listen to him scream and meltdown for hours afterwards. Clark is still quite overstimulated from Christmas.

The Colonel is enjoying her lunch. She has decided that she prefers to stand in a chair over sitting in her highchair. I do have a booster seat, but she plays around with it and ends up falling out. I thought she would learn the first few times to sit still. Nope! So I just let her stand. It makes it much easier for me to enjoy my lunch if she stays in her chair.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Minions are back!

I was trying to be a cool mom today. I think I failed. No one understood what it was I was trying to get them to do. Oh well...  I am not sure how well you can see it, but in ham I have 1 2 _ 4. Then I had 3 slices of sausage, grape tomatoes, and kiwi. I was trying to get the minions to give me the missing number.

The bottom tier continued with the 3 theme. I have 3 wedges of Biscoff spread on a tortilla and 3 slices of cheese.

Isn't Pork handsome! I am so glad they all feel better!

Colonel Sanders was lucky enough to get my bento from Japan today! She has diced kiwi, grape tomatoes, sausage, cheese, and some sandwich wedges.

Can you believe The Colonel has all her baby teeth now? That's right, she has 16 teeth and is 13 1/2 months old.

Tyke and Colonel Sanders checking out their lunches.